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Designing our Future

Local Perspectives on Bioproduction, Ecosystems and Humanity

image of Designing our Future
This volume focuses primarily on society at the local and regional levels and on a scenario in which human beings coexist harmoniously with nature. This ideal society is examined in terms of the relationships between villages or towns and their natural environment. It also looks at how these villages and towns can achieve local or regional independence in the face of pressures toward centralization and globalization. This book highlights the importance of developing a society in harmony with nature through the networking of diverse communities to promote and achieve local independence.

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Sustainable agriculture practices

During the latter half of the twentieth century, though intensive agriculture increased crop yields and successfully met the growing demand for food, it degraded the natural resources upon which agriculture depends – soil, water resources and natural genetic diversity (Pimentel et al., 1995; Gliessman, 2006). Today, conventional agriculture is built around two related goals: maximization of production and maximization of profit. In pursuit of these economic goals, a host of practices have been developed without regard for their unintended long-term consequences and without consideration of the ecological dynamics of agro-ecosystems. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) revealed that the overuse and mismanagement of pesticides poison water and soil, and nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) inputs and livestock wastes have become major pollutants of surface water, aquifers, and coastal wetlands and estuaries.

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